Creating Custom Front End Registration and Login Forms for WordPress

Front end registration and login forms (meaning placed within your site’s pages, and not the default wp-login.php) are one of the elements that really take a site out of the “standard WordPress” zone. With forms that allow your users to signup and login without ever leaving your main site, you provide a much more consistent and comfortable environment. They can provide that next level of integration that really makes your site zing. They also provide you (the developer/designer) a much higher level of control, especially in regards to styling and functionality. So it’s time to learn how to create them from scratch.

Check out the plugin I’ve released that was inspired by this tutorial.

This is one of the most advanced, and in depth, tutorials that has yet to be written on this site. I’m going to walk you through creating the plugin one function at a time. If you’re not familiar with how to write plugins yet, I highly advise that you go through my Writing Your First WordPress Plugin series.

The finished plugin that you will create with this tutorial will provide two short codes: one that displays a a regular login form, and one that shows a registration form that includes the following fields:

  • Username
  • Email
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Password

Both forms will be fully equipped with error messages that alert the user of problems with their registration or login attempts.

If you are a registered member, you will have access to download the complete plugin at the bottom of the page. The plugin I have put together for this tutorial is minimal in features and styling, as it is used primarily as an example, but there will be a full-featured version of this plugin released some time in the coming weeks.

Enough chatter, on to the good stuff!